Moving Out – Into the Open Field

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Getting your trainee sheepdog to bring the sheep out of the training ring without crisis can be a tricky affair.

The sheep will usually grasp the slightest opportunity to bolt and this can result in an ugly chase.

In this tutorial you'll learn a simple routine which will greatly increase the chances of a smooth transition with the dog maintaining control of the sheep from inside the training ring to the open field.

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How Often How Long

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One of the questions we are most frequently asked is about the frequency and duration of sheepdog training sessions.

There are no hard and fast rules, but it's important to observe your dog's behaviour and make sure you stop each session before the dog becomes too physically or mentally, tired.

In this tutorial, Andy gives some valuable guidelines to help you recognise when your dog's had enough!.

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Sheepdogs Time Out!

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Following on from the very popular An Insight Into Pack Behaviour video - and while we put the finishing touches to our latest sheepdog training tutorial, we thought we'd give you a New Year treat!

"Sheepdogs Time Out" comprises of no less than four great chapters from our DVD Border Collie Sheepdogs & Friends - Still Off Duty DVD, and is a shade under 17 minutes of fun and training with our dogs.

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An Insight into Pack Behaviour

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This tutorial's a little different from usual as we're looking at dog behaviour, rather than training. "An Insight into Pack Behaviour" was originally a chapter on our Still Off Duty DVD, and is 33 minutes of our thoughts about what we see when we're out and about with our dogs.

We're not suggesting that it's the definitive guide to dog behaviour, but it illustrates much that we've seen and found useful when training a sheepdog. We're hoping you'll find it entertaining, as well as interesting, and we're also hoping it will stimulate some debate about what we see. All of us are learning, and none of us knows all the answers (except, perhaps our dogs).

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Starting a Strong Dog

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In part one of Starting a Young Puppy, we saw that with care, it's possible to begin a puppy's training at a very early age, but if you didn't have the luxury of well-dogged docile sheep for your puppy to learn with, then you've had to wait before you can start training - and you may find you have a tougher dog than you bargained for when it comes to training it on sheep.

Rather like Tess in this tutorial, there's a good chance your young dog will have its own ideas about how to go about tackling sheep!

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Outrun (Part 2)

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The outrun marks the difference between a dog in training and a dog in work. When you no longer need to walk to your sheep, but can send the dog away to gather and bring them to you, you'll have a real sense of achievement - and a really useful sheepdog.

In The Outrun part 2, Andy demonstrates how positioning yourself, your dog and the sheep, in relation to each other, is the key to success when you're working on lengthening or widening your dog's outrun. To prove the method works we see Carew at an early stage in her career - when she'd "cross over" at the prospect of even quite a short outrun - and, just a few months later, tackling a 500 metre outrun for the first time.

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Starting a Young Puppy (Part 2)

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In part one of Starting a Young Puppy, we saw that with care, it's possible to begin a puppy's training at a very early age.

In part two, we take young Ezra to the sheep again, but this time, give him a little more guidance and lots of encouragement.

We also see signs of Ezra's confidence growing and learn that nine sheep is too many for this early stage of a dog's training.

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Starting a Young Puppy (Part 1)

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The usual age for starting a pup on sheep is between six and twelve months, but if you have the right sort of sheep and know what you're doing, you can start a pup at a much younger age. Starting a dog early makes it much easier to get the youngster under control in the presence of sheep.

In "Starting a Young Puppy" Andy shows what to do and what to avoid when he takes litter-mates Ezra and Carew to the sheep at just eleven week old.

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